For most people it is the number of units shifted by a company that are indicative of success or failure of a particular product.
Apple sold 46.9m iPhones in the quarter, generating sales of $37.2bn, but eyebrows have been raised by escalating price tags which are stretching the wallets of even the most devoted Apple fans.
The surprise move by Apple, however, has attracted strong criticism by analysts and journalists who believe that Apple wants to judge its cart by value and not by volume.
In a recent earnings call, the technology giant revealed total revenues for last year were $62.9 billion (£48.3 billion) which is over $10 billion what the company netted last year. However, weak guidance, or a disappointing outlook, impacted investor sentiment and in after hours trading Apple shares have fallen over 5 per cent (at the time of writing, and as low as 7 per cent a few hours earlier) bringing Apple's valuation back under the $1tn milestone. If those losses hold, Apple risks losing its status as the lone trillion-dollar company. "Both trade war issues coming to reality", he said. In 2017, the priciest mode, the iPhone X, went on sale in October. The iPhone 8 models were released previous year, making them an excellent option for someone looking to make the switch or upgrade. Customer satisfaction for the Apple Watch, he said, was also high, adding that the wearable is among the ways the company can make breakthroughs into the health industry. "And so I think, or at least the way that I saw these, is each one of the emerging markets had a bit of a different story".
Yet sales of Apple's flagship device were essentially flat.More news: Georgia's Brian Kemp investigates Democrats over alleged cybercrime
Analysts' consensus estimates are calling for revenue of $61.48 billion, up 16.9% year over year and near the high end of Apple's forecast; earnings per share are being pegged at $2.78, rising 34.3% compared to the prior-year quarter.
Campling said that it now appears that Apple will give commentary when it has good news, but not when things are bad. These days, it's less about how many more iPhones the company can sell from one year to the next than how much additional revenue it can squeeze out of its flagship product through price hikes and the growth of supplementary services like Apple Pay, iCloud and Apple Music subscriptions.
Most analysts were still upbeat on fourth-quarter results, and there was no obvious fallout for rest of the FAANG group of major U.S. tech stocks.